In this electronic age, almost everyone depends on digital cameras to take their photos and they use photo printing centers to get those pictures printed off for them. There are so many options available, but some of them stand out like Photofun.com. They offer many different options at prices lower than you would even find at the photo center of many stores.
Curious as to how they were able to build into the website they are today, I got in contact with Terry Rayner, the President of Photofun USA, to find out more.
What are some of the services that are offered at Photofun.com?
Photofun is an online photo-service. We are the first company to offer 4×6 five-cent photo-prints. Photofun also offers 5×7, 8×10 & 12 x18 photo-prints all at incredibly low prices. In addition to the photo prints we offer photo-albums, photo-calendars, photo-posters, photo-canvas, day-timers, greeting cards, post cards and business cards.
What separates this business from your competition?
Innovation, Quality & Price: What does this mean for our customers?
Innovation: Our website is built entirely in flash; it is a direct interface into our software and allows our customers to produce some very new and different photo-products.
Quality: At Photofun you can upload your high-resolution digital photo-prints and store (and download them) them free of charge. The high resolution photos can then be used to create our line of photo products in high fidelity, clarity and crispness. All of our photo-products are printed on Fuji Archival Photo Paper — the same paper professional photographer’s use!
Price: Due to our web-site and work flow we are able to offer prices that NO other online photo-service can offer while not compromising on quality.
What was the inspiration behind this business, and what kind of growth has it gone through since?
The inspiration behind the business comes from the founder “Ton Marsman.” Ton is an inventor and originally built the software we use for a different application. Ton’s philosophy is “Innovation, Fair Prices, Transparency and Quality!” This philosophy is driven down from Ton into all aspects of the company.
As Photofun has grown the biggest restriction to our growth has been space — our rapid growth has meant that we have outgrown three facilities do far — We are currently building a new 90,000 Sqft headquarters and manufacturing plant that should allow us to fulfill our growth plans.
Most businesses encounter a bump or two in the startup process. What were some of those bumps that Photofun.com had to face, and how were you able to get over that hump to move onto the next step?
When we started we used digital printing devices to print all of our products; it soon became apparent that the quality of digital printing is not high enough for photo products — so we re-equipped with photo-processing printing devices, this took us from a “Me too” company to a market leader!
Where would you like to see this business go in the coming years? What are some of your goals?
We foresee continued global growth – We are already the fastest growing online photo-service in Europe and are getting over 2,000 visitors per day on the new US website. Our goal is to be a force within the online photo-market and one of the leading providers by 2010.
I know you’ve recently announced that you’ve gone into a partnership with Totsites.com. What are some of the benefits that will be gained by those members? Any other partnership plans in the making?
Totsites is America’s leading baby web-site company — At Totsites parents can create a website for their family to use to share the joy of the arrival of their new baby, and then(share) the special times as the baby grows up. This is done by uploading photos and text content. Now the members can create photo-albums and other photo-products to savior all of the precious moments of their new baby in a tangible manner.
Photofun expects to see several more partners come on board during the 4th quarter of 2008; these partners are going to be household name retailers and online stores.
What kind of previous knowledge were you able to bring with you into this business and how has it helped?
I have spent my entire career in the printing industry; the last ten have been in senior management positions and have concentrated on the emerging digital printing segment of the business. My role has included working with fortune 500 corporations finding countrywide solutions for their overall printing and communication needs. The combination of my printing experience and my solutions driven mentality have made it possible for me to understand the “New” photo-market and allows me to communicate our benefits to corporations that may be looking to offer online photo-services to their customers.
If you were to retire tomorrow, what would be the one thing you feel has really had an effect on you when it comes to this business?
I am not sure I have done anything that is ground shaking — the one thing I have learned is that “Hard Work and perseverance results in success,” many people have asked me if I am lucky to be where I am — I often answer “ We make our own luck — so if I am successful it is because I have worked at it, laying down the foundations so that when an opportunity comes along, I am ideally positioned to be able to make the best use of that opportunity”
Was there any advice that you’ve received which has stuck with you over time, and what was it?
“Treat others as you would wish to be treated”
Is there anything you’d like to say to any of the entrepreneur hopefuls that might be reading this?
Never stop working hard to reach your dreams — don’t compromise when it comes to achieving your goals, however, realize that “compromise” is the friend of all businessmen and therefore it is how you deal with “compromise and change” to meet your goals that will be the measure of your success.